Rahul Gandhi, addressing fishermen during his visit to Puducherry today, called them “farmers of the sea” and talked about the need for a separate ministry for fisheries. Except there already is one, Union Fisheries Minister Giriraj Singh and several other BJP leaders pointed out.
The Congress leader was discussing the farmer protests near Delhi when he made the remarks.
“You must be wondering why I am talking about farmers at a meeting of fishermen. I consider you as farmers of the sea,” Rahul Gandhi said in English, and paused for the translator to convey it to a cheering crowd.
“I think to myself, if farmers of the land have a ministry in Delhi then why can’t farmers of the sea have a ministry in Delhi? When we have an issue of farmers we go to the ministry that belongs to the farmers. We go to the Agricultural Minister, but when fishermen have an issue, they do not have a minister to go to. And so I think an important thing we have to do for fishermen is we have to give them a ministry in the central government, so their issues can be raised and their pain can be taken care of,” said the Congress MP.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar hit out at senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for talking about the need for a separate Ministry for Fisheries which already exists. In a tweet, Mr Javadekar said the Ministry of Fisheries is already working under the Central government but Rahul Gandhi does not know what is in India.
Union Fisheries Minister Giriraj Singh reminded Rahul Gandhi that the ministry was established by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2019. Union Ministers Smriti Irani and Kiren Rijiju also criticised the former Congress President for his comments.
Earlier, interacting with the fishermen community in Puducherry, Mr Gandhi said the government must have a separate department to look into the issue of the fishermen community.